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OMV to invest USD36 million in glycerin-to-propanol pilot plant in Austria

March 09/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- OMV (Vienna, Austria) says it will invest EUR30 million (USD36 million) building a glycerin-to-propanol pilot plant at its refining and petrochemicals complex at Schwechat, Austria, with the propanol produced to be used as a sustainable feedstock for chemicals, in addition to being a bio-additive for gasoline, reported Chemweek.

Construction is scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2021, with the unit to be operational in 2023, it says. The plant will use a catalyst developed inhouse by OMV to produce propanol from waste-based glycerin, a byproduct from biodiesel production. The propanol will be used mainly as a bio-additive to reduce gasolines carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint, but with other applications to include as a sustainable feedstock for the chemicals market as a replacement for fossil-based propanol, it says.

The pilot plant investment follows five years of research, says OMV. The new unit will be located adjacent to the companys ReOil plant, which produces synthetic oil from waste plastic for use in nearby olefins and polyolefins plants operated by its subsidiary Borealis, so that both facilities can utilize a single measuring station and synergies, it says.

The pilot plants capacity of 1.25 million metric liters/year of propanol will lead to an estimated reduction in CO2 emissions of around 1,800 metric tons/year, it says. OMV says the long-term plan is to commercialize the glycerin-to-propanol technology to produce around 125 million liters/year of propanol and reduce CO2 emissions by around 180,000 metric tons.

OMV last month announced it would invest about EUR25 million, in partnership with Kommunalkredit, building an electrolysis plant for the production of green hydrogen at Schwechat. The 10-megawatt (MW) polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolysis facility will produce up to 1,500 metric tons/year of renewable hydrogen, with the plant expected online in the second half of 2023.

As MRC informed earlier, OMV (Vienna, Austria) says it is investing EUR40 million (USD48 million) to expand and modernize a steam cracker and associated units at its refining and petrochemicals complex at Burghausen, Germany. The upgrade will increase the sites ethylene and propylene production capacity by 50,000 metric tons/year. Following a planned turnaround of the refinery, the revamped cracker and petchem units are expected to start operations in the third quarter of 2022. Initial groundwork is already underway ahead of the upgrade.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,220,640 tonnes in 2020, up by 2% year on year. Only shipments of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) increased. At the same time, polypropylene (PP) shipments to the Russian market reached 1 240,000 tonnes in 2020 (calculated using the formula: production, minus exports, plus imports, excluding producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply of exclusively PP random copolymer increased.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:bioplastics, PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, PP random copolymer, propylene, LDPE, HDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, recikling, adhesives, OMV, Austria, Russia.
Category:General News
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